"Mama" by my daughter age 3

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Giacometti Figure Sculptures

Alberto Giacometti was a surrealist sculptor born in Switzerland. He liked to sculpt the human figure in long, skinny forms. His sculptures have expression and look like gesture drawings. He was also inspired by shadows for his figures.

5th graders first learned how to do gesture drawings of a moveable wooden figure in art class. Gesture drawings are supposed to look like they are in action.

With this knowledge of how the body should look moving, 5th graders then made a wire armature of a human figure. They then wrapped the armature in tinfoil to give the sculpture some strength. Lastly, they applied two layers of plaster to make the sculpture sturdy and have weight to it. I hot glued their figure to a wooden block for it’s’ stand, and then the 5th graders painted their sculptures with acrylic paint.


Third graders reviewed the wonderful artist Eric Carle. We watched a short interview with Carle about his new book the Blue Horse. This video was great because it showed how he puts together his pictures for his story using the collage technique. That is what third graders focused on, using collage in their art work. Instead of painting their paper like Eric Carle, they used oil pastels and made lines and patterns all over their paper. Next they followed a map of how create a hippo with simple shapes that I drew out a head of time on the chalk board. They pieced together their hippo on a water colored background. Last step was adding the under water effect by putting white or light blue tissue on top of hippo using art paste.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Matisse Collage Self Portraits

4th graders studied the artist Henri Matisse. Matisse had 2 styles of art during the span of his career. He painted the first part of his career. after suffering a spinal Injury that left him bed ridden, he created paper cut outs and collages for the rest of his career. 4th graders created a collage background using images and text to describe themselves. They then photo-transferred a picture of themselves on top of the collage. Lastly they painted over the top with a paint wash.

Trapeze Self Portraits

A fun twist on self portraits. Some of my students just dread doing self portraits, and I do at least one self portrait project every year. So I try to make them fun. Another Pinterest project idea (isn't Pinterest just the best?!) Not everyone knew what a trapeze performer was, so I found a short video clip on You Tube of Cirque de Soleil trapeze artists. It was fun to watch and see the amazement on the student's faces. For the project, I made the body tracers for the students. They traced the body shape, then filled in the details with a face, clothes, shoes, hair. But what was really tricky was they had to draw the back of themselves as well. Once the drawing was completed and colored they made the trapeze from a drinking straw and string. They swing through the air with the greatest of ease in our front hallway!

This project is also from Use Your Colored Pencil Blog as well as being found on Pinterest.

Cows Jumping Over the Moon

I saw this on Pinterest and thought it was so cute. It took almost a month from start to finish to complete the whole thing, but was well worth it!
First graders have been busy! They learned how to create a paper weaving! We then turned that weaving into a cow, which is amazing! This project was also very “green”, because we used up all the white and black scrap paper to make our cow partsJ Once our cows were completed we used oil pastels to make the night sky on black paper, so all our cows could jump over the moon! They turned out awesome!


2nd graders learned about joints and reflexes through an episode of THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS. Because he'd rather be playing ball, Ralphie wants to build a robot to do his chores. As he and his classmates struggle to make the robot, they discover the importance of knowing how joints and muscles work together.

2nd graders built a robot of their own. They were required to have moving arms and legs at the joints where our elbows and knees are. Once their paper and marker details were completed they got to go “shopping” for hardware to fill in their robot’s body.